Escrow Watch: Probiotics play Biome will release nearly a third of its shares in June
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Escrow Watch is Stockhead’s monthly recap of the ASX companies that are releasing shares currently in escrow (also known as restricted securities) over the coming weeks.
ASX shares in escrow are “locked away” and not listed on the bourse so owners can’t sell them – until they’re released.
This is intended to depict to would-be investors when raising capital that the management and previous investors are still backing the venture and aren’t raising capital just so they can “sell out”.
While there’s no guarantee holders of escrowed shares will sell at that point, the mere fact that they will be able to is worth knowing – particularly if shares have substantially moved one way or the other.
Click here for a more detailed description of the ASX rules surrounding escrow arrangements.
Microbiome health company Biome Australia Limited (ASX:BIO) has announced 47,470,727 fully paid ordinary shares, which have been currently quoted, will be released from voluntary escrow on May 31.
A further 224,638 fully paid ordinary shares will be released from escrow on June 1. Biome recently announced a 54% increase in sales year-to-date vs full year FY21 “due to increasing demand for Biome’s Activated Probiotics products”.
Biome Australia saw its share price rally 15% to 12 cents on Monday after announcing it had signed a material distribution agreement with Priceline Pharmacy Group to sell its Biome Activated Probiotics as a core range in their 370 pharmacies across Australia.
Australia’s largest regional vet network Apiam Animal Health Limited (ASX:AHX) has announced it will release 174,632 ordinary shares from voluntary escrow on June 1.
Apiam recently signed agreements to acquire the assets of Victorian Equine Group (VEG) and Romsey Veterinary Surgery.
VEG will be Apiam’s third high-performance cornerstone referral equine centre, providing Apiam with an expert referral equine offering in all eastern states of Australia. It will also provide a basis for Apiam’s equine services expansion in Victoria.
Romsey Vet Surgery is a rapidly growing clinic servicing mixed animals located in a major growth corridor in the Mt Macedon ranges.
The Apiam share price has fallen 16% in the past year to 76 cents.
Diversified funds management group Pengana Capital Group Limited (ASX:PCG) announced that it will release 6,669,685 ordinary shares subject to voluntary escrow under the Pengana Loan Share Plan will be released on June 1. Pengana said the shares are already quoted on the ASX.
The company’s share price has risen ~14% in the past year to $1.88.
Minerals exploration company Ballymore Resources (ASX:BMR) will release 2 million quoted fully paid ordinary shares from voluntary escrow on June 2.
The Ballymore portfolio is focused on copper, gold and critical mineral projects, with substantial tenement packages in North Queensland.
Ballymore has three project areas at Dittmer, Ruddygore and Ravenswood. These consist of two granted Mining Leases, 11 granted Exploration Permits for Minerals and an EPM application covering an area of 1,355km2.
The Ballymore share price has fallen 41% in the past year to 20 cents.
Chemical company DGL Group (ASX:DGL) has announced that 2,653,061 quoted fully paid ordinary shares are due to be released from voluntary escrow on June 3.
The shares, issued to vendors as part consideration for the acquisition of Austech Chemicals, were subject to a voluntary escrow period of six months.
The company’s chief executive Simon Henry was recently criticised for disparaging comments about celebrity chef Nadia Lim in an interview published by NBR last week.
DGL’s board said it had started a process to appoint an advisory firm to conduct an independent review of DGL’s culture, and to recommend any changes necessary to ensure its culture reflected its key values.
Recently listed WA nickel explorer DMC Mining Limited (ASX:DMM) has announced that 1.5 million ordinary fully paid shares will be released from escrow on June 4.
DMC will apply to ASX for quotation of the fully paid ordinary shares to be released. DMC has two projects, ‘Ravensthorpe’ and ‘Fraser Range’.
Ravensthorpe is a nickel and gold project next door to First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) open-pit nickel mine and the RAV8 sulphide nickel mine.
The 873km2 of Fraser Range tenements makes DMC one of the largest junior landholders in the region, which is known for its company-making Nova nickel discovery. The DMC share price has risen 30% in the past year to 13 cents.
Allied Health provider Healthia Limited (ASX:HLA) has announced it will release shares from voluntary escrow which related to the 2020 settlement of its 100% acquisition of The Optical Company and 22.5% minority interest in its subsidiary Mount Gambier Optical.
As part consideration for these acquisitions, the company issued 9,869,476 new ordinary shares, which were to be held in voluntary escrow by the vendors for between six months and 24 months.
Healthia said 234,738 of these shares will be released from voluntary escrow on June 6.
Hearing device company Audeara (ASX:AUA) recently signed Healthia as reseller for its hearing devices. The company has integrated ~300 clinics into its network of physiotherapy, optometry and podiatry, listing on the ASX in 2018. The company’s share price has fallen 18% in the past year to $1.57.
Ai-Media Technologies Limited (ASX:AIM) has announced 4,876,672 fully paid ordinary shares will be released from voluntary escrow on June 7.
Ai-Media specialises in live and recorded captioning, transcription and translation services. The company said shares to be released represent one-third of the total 14,630,017 shares issued to vendors as part-consideration for its acquisition of North American video and captioning technology company EEG.
Ai-Media said the balance of those shares remains subject to voluntary escrow for up to two years. The company’s share price has fallen ~60% in the past year to 40 cents.
Iron ore exploration and development company Equatorial Resources (ASX:EQX) has announced that 1,500,000 ordinary shares will be released from voluntary escrow on June 10.
The company has two 100% owned large-scale iron ore projects in the Republic of Congo. Its share price has fallen 39% in the past year to 20 cents.